A 14-year-old boy fatally stabbed on a Manhattan subway platform was an aspiring drill rapper, a genre of hip hop that a grieving relative believes played a tragic role in his death.
Ethan Reyes — who rapped under the name Notti Osama — got into a dispute with a 15-year-old assailant outside the 137th St.-City College station in Harlem Saturday afternoon. The argument spilled into the station, where Reyes was stabbed in the abdomen. Though rushed to Mount Sinai Morningside Hospital, he could not be saved.
“He just got caught up in the street life type s—t,” ‚” said the teen’s cousin, Kelvin Ventura. “He just so happened to take a route in a style of music that ends up with art turning into violence.”
Police used MTA surveillance footage to track down his teen attacker, who was bleeding from the back and abdomen, cops said. He was treated at an area hospital and then charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon.
“He would’ve taken a route of a pop singer or any other style of art or music, he would’ve been super successful,” said Ventura, 43. “Just so happens his style of music that he chose to do ended up reciprocating violence.”
Reyes often performed with a brother who raps under the name DD Osama.
“Him and David were a duet,” Ventura said of the pair, noting they were as close as twins. “They were always together,” he said.
Drill rappers often taunt their rivals in music videos and lyrics, which the NYPD believes only adds fuel to the gang beef fire.
After a spate of violence involving drill rappers earlier this year, Mayor Adams waged war on the scene and called for it to be banned on social media platforms.
Reyes was killed just a few blocks from where he lived with his family. He was the youngest of six children.
“He was a very happy kid,” said a cousin, Lily Ortega. “He was very loving. He loved spending time with his family.”
Outside his apartment building Sunday evening, votive candles and a poster board were arranged, where some mourners wrote messages to Reyes and his family.
“It makes us feel happy because you can tell people really loved him for who he was,” Ortega said of the memorial.
“Long Live Notti,” one read.
“His music was just something he always wanted to do,” Ventura said. “Ever since I can remember they would entertain us, him and his other brother would entertain us at Christmas parties, singing and dancing and performing.”
”He was an entertainer, he liked music and dancing and entertaining was his life,” he said.
Ortega suggested the city offer more accessible programs to keep teenagers off the street.
“And it’s not only him, it’s so many,” she said, noting another teen who was shot in the neighborhood in recent months. “It’s sad.”